The FACT Child Abuse & Neglect (CAN) Advisory Committee is one of three of Virginia’s Citizen Review Panels required by federal funding through the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA). Each year, the CAN Advisory Committee prepares a report to the Department of Social Services identifying ongoing concerns, issues, and recommendations about laws, policies, and practices within child welfare.
In order to increase awareness about the issues identified within the report, FACT will be hosting quarterly virtual panels. The 2023 CAPTA Report covers the following areas:
- Regional child death review team
- In-Home Services and Family First implementation
- Recruitment, compensation, and retention of child welfare professionals throughout the system, and in particular, the child abuse and neglect hotline staff
- Problematic sexual behavior between children
- Human trafficking cases involving children
Information on the first panel, focused on child fatality review processes, is below.
One of the issues examined through the work of the Committee has been child fatality review team processes. Fatality review teams are diverse, multidisciplinary groups of professionals who come together to understand the complex, multifaceted factors surrounding the death of a child. The issue of child fatalities difficult to imagine and discuss. The death of a single child is a profound loss to a family and community. However, understanding the circumstances that contributed to the cause of those deaths is central to developing responses and policies that may prevent the next child from dying. The purpose of these review processes is save lives.
On Tuesday, September 12th, FACT hosted a panel discussion with experts at the state and local level on the work of child fatality teams in Virginia. This event was as an opportunity for stakeholders to learn more about the importance of this work, gain a better understanding of how the various efforts fit together and learn about where there are opportunities for improvements. A recording of the discussion can be found below.